I have been reading through the book of I Timothy this week. I am taking a long, slow look at Paul’s words to his treasured friend. Paul wants his friend Timothy to grow in relationship with God and he is very clearly speaking into Timothy’s life in a formational way.
Good friends do that—they lovingly talk straight to your heart.
Hey friend, take a look at Paul’s words to Timothy:
“Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you . . . May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear."
.--1 Timothy 1: 18-19 (NLT)
Please go back and read those verses again—slowly.
Put your name in the place of Timothy’s name. God speaks to us through His word. Let the inspired words of Paul guide you in your journey with Jesus. His instructions are for you (and me) and they are to help us fight well in the battles of life. You know all about the battles don’t you? But look, the battles are not yours—they are the Lord’s. Let Him have them.
Cling? What does that mean?
To cling is to hold on to something in a “dependent” manner-- “tightly,” “tenaciously” and “firmly.” Are you clinging to Jesus? Paul tells us to grab hold and hang on. In the same breath he exhorts us to keep a clear conscience. We must keep our hearts, minds and actions pure before God. We can’t grasp the robe of Jesus with one hand—hold pride, guilt and anger in the other hand and expect to cling to the Lord. The battles of life rage too fiercely at times. We must put all aside and hold tightly to Jesus.
Paul loved Timothy enough to talk straight to his heart and God directs those same words directly towards our hearts. God wants us to heed his instructions, cling to our faith in Jesus and keep our hearts and minds clear before Him. The battle is the Lord’s and the strength to fight is found only in Him.
Where do we begin?
Paul gives us the answer in I Timothy 2:1,
“I urge you, first of all, to pray. . .”